A few of months ago, I started having trouble falling asleep. I felt tired and worn-out. Life seemed to be a series of do-this, do-that chores, not bad, but not good, either. I had accomplished quite a few positives in the last few years. I learned to live in San Francisco on a tight budget. I paid down my student loans. But life seemed like drudge work. I'm young, shouldn't I be enjoying some aspect of my life? I decided to stop and take stock of my life. What could I do to change my outlook? I did a little research and found that others were feeling a lot like me. And, I found some solutions to make my life a richer, more fulfilling experience. Here are some of the tips I found. And, guess what? Most of them don't cost a thing.
Go to the Library
Your local library is a great place to get out of yourself. Turn off your phone and remember what it's like to hold a real book in your hands. Check out the best-sellers list while you're there. Browse the shelves. Find a table far from the computer area and read, just read. Get a library card and take a few books home with you. That way, you have an excuse to go back.
Volunteer to Help a Local Cause
If you feel your life lacks purpose, volunteering is the perfect way to find it. You can become part of the solution to problems within your own community. Your volunteer activities can improve lives, strengthen your community, solve problems and change your own life.
What may surprise you, though, is that volunteering is really good for you. You feel a sense of satisfaction as you help others. Your life becomes meaningful. And, believe it or not, volunteering makes you healthier. Volunteers exhibit a lower mortality rate, lower rates of depression as well as maintaining greater functional ability as they age.
Here are a couple of resources to help you get started:
Sometimes It's the Little Things...
Little things add up to enrich and upgrade our lives. Some are free, others cost a few cents. For example, has someone at work been extra helpful, kind, diligent or just plain fun to be around? How about surprising them with their favorite Starbucks drink? Even if it's your boss. Wait - especially if it's your boss.
Have you lost touch with a close friend from your childhood? See if you can find them on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. Reconnect. Catch up. Smile a little. Laugh a lot.
Try learning something new. Learning is a lifelong process. It keeps our minds active and makes life more exciting. Have you always had the urge to write or sculpt? Try taking a class and release your inner artist.
It's way too easy to get caught up in life and forget how to live. It doesn't have to be that way. I have been happier, sleeping better and feel much more satisfied with life in general since I started volunteering. You can upgrade your life, too, get out of the rut and live a happier, more fulfilling life.
What ways have you found to add meaning to your life?